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Thread: Workshop ceiling

  1. #1

    Workshop ceiling

    What do you guys think about a drop ceiling in a workshop? I picked up some 2x4 led troffer lights and some 2' and 4' armstrong ceiling grid peices for very little. My workshop is in a pole barn and the trusses are not rated for much load. I thought a suspended ceiling gave me lots of options. fairly light weight, can rearrange lights easily, can look up above the ceiling if I need to, easy to go above ceiling to reroute dust collection ,etc.

    You guys like this or have better options for a light weight shop ceiling?

    THanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    50,255
    My ceiling is covered with what is effectively drop ceiling panels and it's made a HUGE difference in the sound levels and comfort of my shop. While I didn't do a grid and stapled mine up (only an 8' ceiling and I didn't want to lose more than the half inch thickness of the panel) if your shop is amenable to a drop ceiling, it might be a good idea. And you can easily put insulation over it for even more comfort. (mine is insulated)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    312
    If you do that, will you still have good ceiling clearance? If the ceiling height is low, you'll be muttering every time your handling long stock.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    5,357
    I had a drop ceiling in my last shop and it nice for keeping the place brighter with the white tiles. I had plenty of light with LED panels. But the panels did catch dust and grime, especially from things like an angle grinder (machinery restoration stuff).

    More importantly, I like having exposed joists for storage - lots of things can be stored in between. And for running new circuits and hanging dust collection pipe an open ceiling is much better.

    Your led panels can surely be hung by wire without the need of a grid.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
    Posts
    3,830
    I have one in my shop Nice and easy to change lighting easy to insulate also

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Starr View Post
    If you do that, will you still have good ceiling clearance? If the ceiling height is low, you'll be muttering every time your handling long stock.
    I didn't initially build the barn to be a shop so the height under the trusses is like 8' 6". So with a minimal drop ceiling I would be like 8' 3" to bottom of tile. Not great but it's about as good as I can do in that building.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    I had a drop ceiling in my last shop and it nice for keeping the place brighter with the white tiles. I had plenty of light with LED panels. But the panels did catch dust and grime, especially from things like an angle grinder (machinery restoration stuff).

    More importantly, I like having exposed joists for storage - lots of things can be stored in between. And for running new circuits and hanging dust collection pipe an open ceiling is much better.

    Your led panels can surely be hung by wire without the need of a grid.

    Yeah, I've got a few things in my trusses now too. The issue is insulation. if I leave them open I would need to insulate on the slope right under the metal and that would be significantly harder I think.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    8,486
    My ceilings are 9' and sometimes I wish I'd made them 10. I screwed 1/2" plywood to the bottoms of the trusses (and all the wallls) so I could remove panels if needed. I can mount or hang almost anything anywhere with the plywood. It's real sturdy if it gets bumped with anything. Adds stiffness to the whole structure too.

    I've installed plenty of drop ceiling and I didn't much enjoy installing or having it. Just my opinion, of course.

    JKJ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    4,202
    On my Personal Dislikes list, not many things rank lower than sheetrock, but dropped (suspended) ceilings are on that list.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    On my Personal Dislikes list, not many things rank lower than sheetrock, but dropped (suspended) ceilings are on that list.
    I thought about screwing 7/16" sheathing OSB directly to the trusses. The only thing that gives me pause is that my trusses were installed on 5" centers. Not meant for load. Of course 15-20 LED troffer lights are pretty heavy too.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    8,486
    Quote Originally Posted by Reggie Burnett View Post
    I thought about screwing 7/16" sheathing OSB directly to the trusses. The only thing that gives me pause is that my trusses were installed on 5" centers. Not meant for load. Of course 15-20 LED troffer lights are pretty heavy too.
    You must mean 5' centers instead of 5" centers. Could you add bracing? Or long horizontal boards kind of like purlins under the trusses just to hold the sheathing, spaced ever 2'? My trusses are on 2' centers and I still added blocking between every bottom web and extra diagonal bracing down the length of the building.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    You must mean 5' centers instead of 5" centers. Could you add bracing? Or long horizontal boards kind of like purlins under the trusses just to hold the sheathing, spaced ever 2'? My trusses are on 2' centers and I still added blocking between every bottom web and extra diagonal bracing down the length of the building.
    Yes I mean 5' centers. As I said they were not installed intending to carry load. I have thought about adding 2x4 vertically on each side of the peak running from the top down to the bottom of the truss thinking that would strengthen them. I guess I'll be comparing weight of a drop ceiling with my troffer lights vs 7/16" OSB with my flourescent bar lights to see not only which one is cheaper but also lighter.

  13. #13
    I have a suspended ceiling in my shop, my bank was remodeling, and i helped remove the ceiling for it. Had plenty of tile and grid, just had to buy new wall angle, and then gave away the left over parts. Used some used, some new troffer lights, changed them to LED bulbs last year. What I liked most about my ceiling is it was mostly free. Call me cheap, it is a compliment.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
    Posts
    1,117
    My shop has open trusses, and I doubt that I will enclose them. I did have closed cell foam insulation sprayed on the roof, and it coated everything.

    Doc
    As Cort would say: Fools are the only folk on the earth who can absolutely count on getting what they deserve.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    90
    Reggie-I do have a drop ceiling and love it. It the overall height after install is 9’4”. The ceiling took about 5” to clear obstacles and troffer light installation. As has already been stated, noise reduction was awesome.
    Cheers
    Sean
    Last edited by sean meltvedt; 11-16-2019 at 3:02 AM.

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